Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson told his family that the 2015 would be his final season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In addition, Johnson has reportedly told head coach Jim Caldwell the same message.
Johnson would be pulling a Barry Sanders, who retired early in his career. Caldwell insisted that Johnson take time to decide if that’s exactly what he wants to do.
Sanders was the Lions leading rusher when he retired at age 30 after his final season. Johnson, if he stays retired, was the Lions leading receiver and also retired following a season in which he’s also 30-years-old.
He completed his 9th season in 2015. If the 2015 season finale against the Chicago Bears, which the Lions won 24-20 at Soldier Field, is indeed his final game, he went out with 10 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown.
He had 88 receptions for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. His best game of the season was on Thanksgiving Day against the Philadelphia Eagles when he had eight receptions for 93 yards and three touchdowns.
The second overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, started 130 of 135 games. He had 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns.
His longest catch of his career was for 96-yards in 2008 when he had a career-high 12 touchdowns. He also had a career-high 122 receptions and 1,964 yards during the 2012 season.
If he does walk away from the game, he’ll owe the Lions $3.2 million of his signing bonus.
Johnson retiring would also cause problems for the Lions salary cap. They’ll have a $24 million cap hit with $12.916 million in dead cap money.
He has four-years remaining on his seven-year, $113 million deal he signed with the team before the 2012 season.
The cap hit goes down to $21.3 million in 2017 with a $4.84 million dead cap hit. Then, there’s no dead cap money in 2018 or 2019.
Yet, he’ll have a cap hit of $17 million in 2018 and $18.25 million in 2019.